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Brunelle Lands on Katrina McClain Watch List

Recognizes top-20 power forwards in the country

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Notre Dame sophomore Sam Brunelle garnered her second preseason award of the week after the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, announced its 20-candidate watch list for the 2021 Katrina McClain Award. Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the annual award in its fourth year recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. 

First Preseason All-ACC, now the Katrina McClain Watch List, Sam Brunelle is gearing up for a big sophomore season at Notre Dame. The 6-2 forward led all ACC freshmen in Points+Assists+Rebounds/Game at 21.4. Furthermore, there were only eight players total in the ACC, counting Brunelle, who averaged at least 13 points, 5.5 rebounds & 1.5 assists.

Brunelle became the first player to start her Irish career with seven double-digit scoring performances (previous record was four), ultimately finishing with 23 on the year. The Virginia native also tallied six games of 20+ points, including a career high of 31 points.

“From the University of Georgia to Team USA, Katrina McClain was a standout power forward,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “To be named to the McClain Award watch list is a tremendous honor and we’re proud to recognize these tremendous student athletes. As we launch our fan voting component tomorrow, we encourage fans to cast their votes alongside our distinguished selection committee.”

College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Katrina McClain Award will be narrowed to just 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. McClain-Pittman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.

The winner of the 2021 Katrina McClain Power Forward Award will be presented on Friday, April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.

For more information on the 2021 Katrina McClain Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #McClainAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, November 13.

2021 Katrina McClain Award Candidates*

Jasmine Walker Alabama
Cate Reese Arizona
Unique Thompson Auburn
NaLyssa Smith Baylor
Maddi Utti Fresno State
Natalie Kucowski Lafayette
Naz Hillmon Michigan
Jessika Carter Mississippi State
Sam Brunelle Notre Dame
Natasha Mack Oklahoma State
Taylor Jones Oregon State
Brooklyn McDavid Pacific
Bethy Mununga South Florida
Cameron Brink Stanford
Mia Davis Temple
N’dea Jones Texas A&M
Alissa Pili USC
Chelsey Perry UT Martin
Maddy Siegrist Villanova
Raneem Elgedawy Western Kentucky

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season

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